Chapter 4 – The Curse, the Wife and someone else
Rine and I are still on top of the summit. We have setting up a camp, since this is still the best place for a night’s rest within hours of walking and climbing. I put some bearington-meat on a bone, which serves as a skewer, and grill it over our campfire.
Good thing, Kyou-san and I filled our [Inventory] with some wood beforehand. But we have to organize it again, since Rine’s equipment just jumbled everything up.
If you use your inventory, a window appears, in which you just have to concentrate on the specific item and then you can take it out. The size of that window is vast, so if you want to take things out in a hurry, you have to know where what is. And it got even bigger, whenever someone joined the curse.
You can rearrange items, but now with Rine in our ‘party’, it just sorted itself by a system, I can’t understand and which is totally anti-intuitive. Why did the drop-items wander to the upper-left corner of the window, where you normally would put your consumables?
Rine is checking the skewers and I try to concentrate on the part, I’m going to talk about. How should I initiate it? I told her to sit down, then I suggested that we first set up for camp and now I ran out of things, we could put before.
“Alright, here goes nothing. Rine, it’s time for our talk.”
“Yes.” She nods strongly, as if she have waited the whole time for it, preparing herself. Well, most likely she did.
“I’m blunt. You got cursed.”
“Cursed? The one you talked about?”
“…Don’t know exactly. But both are at least related.”
“Ah. I don’t get it.”
“Look at your left hand.”
She does as I told and surprise colors her face. She’s looking at the ring, which magically appeared on her hand back then. She really didn#t noticed until know, didn’t she? What an airhead.
“It may be the same curse or a curse invoked from it, but now we’re both suffering. So…” I want to say, that I’m sorry, but I’m more feeling awkward than sorry.
“Hm…” She tries to remove the ring, but of course, it doesn’t work. “It looks like Kyou’s. It has even the same motif.”
She’s right. A lioness is engraved into the ring. It looks exactly as Kyou-san’s.
“And because of that curse, some things happened. At first, you became a hero. What you can see at the edge of your view is related to that.”
Rine widens her eyes. Then she tilts her head, checking out my face. Now she’s trembling. And then, starts to giggle.
She believes me! She believes me and is glad about it!
“I’m a hero… I can be a hero… *giggle*”
Let’s put a downer on that, she’s irritating me!
“And the curse got us in a strange relationship, which it calls ‘marriage’, so for the curse, you and I are husband and wife.”
Even though I hate that circumstance by itself, it’ll be kinda satisfying to destroy Rine’s happy mood with something like that.
Rine’s giggling suddenly stops, hearing my words.
And she becomes red as a tomato: “You and I… married?”
Halt! Why is the atmosphere turning pink and cloudy? Is the air currently sparkling? It’s scary!
“Kenta and I…”
Someone! Something strange is happening to Rine! Her eyes are dreamy and yearning and I can’t tell why!
Without a warning, Rine is knocking me over.
You gain 1 WP.
Being embraced by your wife after making her happy may be standard, but it’s still heartfelt.
She’s crushing me! Is this an embrace or a wrestling technique?
Her leather armor is pushing into my chest, making it hard to breath. Wait, it’s a bit flexible, so I get the faint impression of what’s below the armor, but in the end, I can’t feel anything beside the pain!
With a hard time breathing, I can’t do anything but groan and tapping on Rine’s back. Time out! Time out!
She finally realizes, what she does to me and let me go.
“Huff… huff… I thought I would die.”
“Ke- Dear, I’m sorry.”
“Stop calling me that! Why are you even happy about it!”
“Why shouldn’t I be?” She’s tilting her head, as if I asked her a stupid question.
“Just tell me!”
“Dear… Kenta… You’re smart, right?”
Well, I’m not a genius or so, but I may be a bit smarter than the average student. “In comparison to you and most around me, yes.”
“And you’re strong! You’re able to fight along-side me and even cover up my mistakes.”
“You’re way stronger? But yes, I did grind some levels, so I’m currently the strongest hero… at least of my class.” There may be more heroes out there, but none of my classmates could beat me.
“And even though you’re sometimes emotional, you don’t let your emotions get the better of you. You still judge calmly and even if you’re not, you do the right thing.”
“I’m not emotional! And of course I decide the best course of actions based on reason!”
“And even though I mess up so many times, you’re still with me and helps me. You’re unbelievably kind.”
It’s more about her being useful, but I may be actually kind. Kind enough to not abandon Rine at a crucial moment, even though she’s driving me crazy. “Let’s go with it.”
“So Kenta, you’re my ideal!”
Wait, wait, wait. How did she jump to that conclusion?
What did she said about her ideal, during that damn girl-talk? The ability to remember details is crucial to enjoy a good story to its fullest.
Clever, strong, kind and even-tempered.
I’m such a sinful man.
OH NO! IT’S ME!
“Wait, wait, wait, Rine! Don’t jump into conclusions! There is no way, that I’m your ideal man!”
“Kenta, I know you’re modest, but after you helped me fighting these kobolds in the cave, I already felt, that you may be the one. But since you were together with Kyou, I tried to distance myself from you.” How did you distance yourself from me? You use any opportunity to invade my personal space! “And now we’re married!”
“We’re not! It’s the curse! It only pretends us to be! Don’t listen to it!”
“No buts! Keep your calm! If you and I were married, I would also be married to Kyou-san. Did you get the feeling, that we get along?”
“Yes.” Such naivety! “But you and Kyou married… Kenta, you cheater! Criminal! Sinner! How can you do this to Kyou!? And humanity!” She’s hitting me relatively weak into the chest, means that the rips are only feeling like they’re breaking.
“Ouch! It’s the curse! The curse!”
Even though the pain will subside quickly, it’s still pain and I’m not someone who would get off with it.
One, two, three hits later, Rine finally stops, even though she still looks suspicious.
“Phew.” This is troublesome. “So monogamy is a thing in this world as well, I presume.”
“Monogamy. Marriage with only two partners.”
“…There is a word to it? I thought it’s normal.”
“It is in my world, even though I guess, there are some countries, where it isn’t.” I think, Japan also had a time of… multigamy? What’s the word again… poly. Polygamy. Like polyester.
“Aren’t there no cultures here, which have more than one marriage partners?” Maybe this might point to the ones, who made this cursed ring in the first place!
“Of course not! If there were, then- Ah! What do we do!?”
“What’s the problem?”
“We broke a divine law. You may only marry one partner!”
“First, we aren’t married. Second, what would be the punishment?”
“Death penalty for polygamy? What’s this!?”
“It’s a divine law. Don’t you know them?”
“Obviously not! Damn it! Why do the gods mettle so much! Can’t they lie back and do nothing!?”
“What good is a god, who does nothing?”
“Don’t know, don’t care, but your gods are annoying!” From the one who brought me here to Muaotef, everything called a god is an enemy here! “Just tell me about the laws.”
“There are only few divine laws, which exist in every culture. Elves, dwarves, the folk, even the demons abide the divine laws.”
“Even demons? Aren’t they anti-god?”
“They serve their demon-gods. And we the human-gods. It’s a bit different, but in the end, everyone are the children of the gods.”
Wait, wait, wait! Why do I get this important exposition only now?
Maybe because I skipped the tutorial?
“Where was I? Ah. When there are too many divine-lawbreakers within a single race, then the entire species is exterminated by the gods. So the legend.”
“You can’t be serious. Just because some people decide to marry more than one partner, their entire species is going to get wiped out? What kind of behavior is that?”
“It’s only a legend, but to be sure, all cultures have decided the death penalty upon breaking one of the laws. So there will never be too many lawbreakers.”
“So if this gets out, then you and I and Kyou-san are going to get killed?”
“…” This is no joke. But there is a bright side to all that: “Good thing, this is a curse, right Rine?”
In can see a drop of sweat running down her cheek. “…Yes.”
“But to be on the sure side, we’ll never talk about this. OK?”
“Good. Now that’s off the table, take my hand!”
“WP-grinding. And don’t look so confused, I’ll explain it, but for now you take my hand and put your head on my lap. Meanwhile, let’s talk about the hero-system, the curse and the other stuff, you better know, newbie!”
It’s not the first time, I run a newbie through a game system. This time, it only happens while holding her hands and her head on my lap.
This is messed up!
You gain 1 WP.
Your sister-wife is holding hands with your husband. You should try it together with her, to strengthen the bond between you three.
Grinding my teeth, I stare at the message. Again. He’s probably only thinking about the WPs, but rubbing this whole mess into my face is excruciating.
He is stuck in the [Student]-class again and this might make him nervous.
And I’m sure, the whole ‘second marriage’ is an accident, just like mine.
But I want to kill him right now.
Probably he didn’t even realize, how much in trouble all of us are.
At least I’m free, although I’m sure, that Teru-chan and Eri-chan are closely watching me. My own friends are doubting me!
Even Masahiko-kun, someone who is way too kind for his own good! He may be a bit arrogant and self-centered, but in the end, Masahiko-kun tries to think the best of people. That’s why he’s well-loved.
Daichi-kun have both feet on the ground and a keen protective instinct. He will never abandon a friend, but he doesn’t think highly of self-serving people.
Katsuo-kun is a rather dark character, who can only properly communicate with his friends. I guess, Masahiko-kun’s presence makes him feel better with himself.
Teru-chan is small and cute, but is secretly full of dirty thoughts. But she would never show that side to the boys. But that may be the reason, she uses a spear as a weapon. Since she’s short and dirty. But she’s good at housework.
Eri-chan isn’t that popular with the boys, but she isn’t interested in the first place, since she have Masahiko-kun as a childhood-friend. They are probably still not going out, but she’s measuring every boy with him, so who else would stood a chance?
I was freed by them, but there was one condition: I have to take them to Ken. Most likely they think something like he’s forcing me to do his bidding, but in the end, I’d better return. Since I got a certain message…
You and your husband were forced apart! If you won’t return to him, within two days, you will suffer the same curse as him. You’ll be as one, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.
I hope there is a ‘until death do us part’-part in this whole abomination of a wedding. Since I really have the urge to kill him, contaminating me with this curse! This plaque!
What have I done to deserve this? Maybe I’m a bit harsh at times, but if I don’t do that, who knows what Ken will think he can do with me.
He helped me level up, but this isn’t worth it. And now I know, that I can’t even separate from him, without endangering my life. The SP-drain of his curse will slowly kill me.
So yes, of course I take every chance to get back to him! And here goes my female dignity, not being to let a man go, always seeking him. I want it back!
But there is a problem. Since I have no idea where Ken is, I have to find him. And having my friends around makes it safe. So I agreed to their offer. Maybe they’ll kill him and I’ll be free. Yes, that would be the best course of action.
…no, that’s only frustration of how powerless I am about the situation. Even if I want Ken to feel as guilty as possible, it’s not like everything is his fault. But it’s not mine either!
What do I do!? I’m sure that most of my friends want to jump on an opportunity to make Ken’s life miserable, but even if I don’t mind him being a bit roughed up, I get the feeling, that it won’t end well for anyone. And for me the least!
Since it’s already late, the provisional camp became a true one. I also need this time to contact Ken, even though I don’t want to be seen while doing so.
So I have to create a situation, where I won’t be.
Interpreting my look right, Eri says: “We’re back in a minute.”
I stand up.
“Wait, Kyou-chan. Do you need your backpack?”
I’m shocked. Does that mean, that neither Eri-chan nor Teru-chan are taking ‘after care’? I suggest what I mean with a small gesture.
“Ah, sorry.” Eri blushes. “I…”
Most likely she doesn’t know if she have to treat me like a prisoner or a friend, so she just suspected me bringing my backpack with me.
“It’s alright.” I smile. I want to hurt her, but I smile anyway! I thought we’re friends!
Both of us remove ourselves from the camp and after a minute of walking, I sit down behind a bush, so Eri-chan can see the back of my head.
I take the backpack off my shoulders and pull out a writing pen and paper. After writing my message, I throw everything back into the backpack.
Ken is stupid. If he was half as smart as he think he is, he would have already figured out, that you may use our [Shared Inventory] for communication. He only needs to find my message and everything will be fine. I even put it right in the upper-left corner of the inventory-screen, since he’ll be irritated by it.
I stand up, go to Eri-chan and apologize.
“Sorry. Sorry I can’t help you much.”
She’s still watching me warily. “Can’t you talk about it?”
I shift my eyes slightly to the side. “I can’t.” Because telling them this story would not only be embarrassing, but also humiliating.
Good thing, that many movies and novels have stuff like that, so it doesn’t seem odd, that there is a kind of control device, which refrains me of doing certain actions.
They figured already out, that the ring have something to do with it. So let’s use it.
Eri-chan is embracing me. I pull her into my arms as well.
“Kyou-chan, both of us know, what we’re capable of. So I won’t fully trust you.”
“Aren’t we friends?”
“Yes, we are. So we know a lot about each other.”
Relationships between girls may have some power-struggles. Before coming to this world, I was the one in charge. For now, it’s Eri-chan. We’re friends, rivals and enemies, all at the same time.
The one who manipulated the boys to abandon me was Eri-chan. And Teru-chan supported her wholeheartedly. Knowing that I’ll try my best to get payback as soon as possible. And she thinks, this might be my chance to.
Naive. I’ll take my time. And then you’ll cry.
Eri-chan and I are friends. And because of this, we won’t hold back!
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